The Vancouver and Hong Kong based non operating owner Seaspan, which this week firmed up long-term charter deals for five Hyundai-built 14,000 teu ships with Yang Ming, said it planned to order another five vessels of similar design at CSBC Taiwan – also for Yang Ming.
Seaspan on Tuesday confirmed that it had entered into ‘commitments’ with CSBC Corporation Taiwan to have constructed and to acquire the five containerships for an aggregate purchase price of approximately USD 550 million.
Concurrently with this newbuilding commitment, Seaspan signed a binding letter of intent with Yang Ming to enter into long-term, fixed-rate time charter contracts for these ships. The company disclosed that it expected to complete definitive time charter contracts with Yang Ming and definitive shipbuilding contracts with CSBC shortly.
The vessels are to be built at CSBC’s Kaohsiung shipyard and they are scheduled for delivery in 2016.
Over the course of 2015 and 2016, Yang Ming is thus to receive no fewer than 15 container ships of 14,000 teu from Seaspan.
Yang Ming’s orderbook furthermore includes two 6,250 teu ships from Japan. Built at Imabari’s Koyo Shipyard and chartered from the Imabari Group’s Shoei Kisen, these ships are sisters of the recently delivered YM MOVEMENT.
APL is to double this week the capacity of its standalone ‘MNX’ Kaohsiung to Philippines shuttle. The 2,468 teu APL DALIAN will phase out of the single-ship service to be replaced by the 4,700 teu APL LOS ANGELES, which again after one month on the ‘MNX’ will be replaced by the 4,308 teu APL RIYADH.
The weekly service, on which MOL and Hyundai take slots, will continue to call at Kaohsiung, Subic Bay, Manila and Kaohsiung.
South Korea’s Hyundai Mipo Dockyard, the Hyundai shipyard group’s specialist for small and mid-sized tonnage, has won a contract to build three 770 feu (1,540 teu) reefer container vessels. The ships have been ordered by the California-based Dole Food Company.
In May, Dole’s board of directors had approved in-principle the acquisition of three new refrigerated container ships for the company’s San Diego-based U.S. West Coast operations. Subsequently, Dole had started negotiations with a number of shipyards.
The new vessels are to replace a series of 491 feu (982 teu) reefer ships built between 1988 and 1991 in Italy. They will be 190.00m long and 30.40m wide and they are to be fitted with traveling gantry cranes. Construction at the Ulsan-based yard is scheduled to begin in 2014, with the first ship due for delivery in November 2015.
With immediate effect, APL is to drop the Laem Chabang – Singapore leg of its Thailand – Straits – Subcontinent service ‘LWX’ and replace the connection by slot-buying. The truncated service continues under a new name as a Singapore to India and Pakistan loop.
The former Singapore to Laem Chabang leg of the ‘LWX’ is to be served through slots on a newly established shuttle service by X-Press Feeders. The new loop offers one weekly round trip and it employs the 1,645 teu HANSA CALYPSO, which the feeder specialist recently chartered from the spot market. APL brands its slot participation on the loop as its ‘TSX’ service.
The Singapore – Subcontinent leg of the ‘LWX’ has been re-branded as ‘SWX’ and its continues to be served by APL tonnage. The shortened service’s turnaround time is three weeks, which is essentially unchanged from the former sailing pattern – minus the one-week Thailand leg. The ‘new’ loop deploys three of the vessels formerly trading on the ‘LWX’: The 3,398 teu sisters APL CHICAGO, APL SEATTLE, APL GUANGZHOU. The port rotation is: Singapore, Karachi, Pipavav, Colombo, Singapore.
Hyundai and MOL were slot buyers on ‘LWX’ but appear not to participate in APL’s revised Singapore to Subcontinent offer. The two carriers are however expected to join X-Press as slotters on the new Singapore to Laem Chabang shuttle in lieu of their former participation on the ‘LWX’
The German container line Hamburg Süd has ordered a three large container ships at Hyundai Heavy Industries of South Korea. The newbuildings are slated for delivery in the second half of 2014. While neither the yard nor the carrier disclosed the vessels’ specifications, the ships are believed to be further units of the recently-launched 9,669 teu CAP SAN NICOLAS type.
Based on this assumption, the three new vessels would add to a series of six such ships owned and operated by Hamburg Süd plus four ships that the Greek non-operating owners Enesel ordered for long-term charters to Hamburg Süd. They would thus take the total number of ships of this type to 13.
With a capacity for up to 2,100 reefer containers (the equivalent of 4,200 teu), Hamburg Süd’s and Enesel’s 333.20m long ships are presently the world’s largest reefer vessels. The lead ship of the series, the CAP SAN NICOLAS, has been delivered earlier this month and it has joined the Far East to ECSA Service ‘ASIA’ which Hamburg Süd offers in cooperation with Maersk (‘ASAS’).
The first six German-owned ships are scheduled for delivery before the end of this year. The four Greek-owned ships are then to follow in the first half of 2014. Finally, the now-ordered three units of Hamburg Süd would follow later that year.
Some brokerage sources claim the vessels were ordered at USD 81million per unit. While this would be in line with numerous recent orders of ‘standard’ compact wide-beam ships of 9,000 teu, linvervision estimates the Hamburg Süd orders to be a more in the price range of about USD 90 million because of their high reefer capacity.
If on the other hand the reported price of USD 81 million is indeed correct, it would be a pointer towards three high-reefer ships of about 7,500 teu to add to Hamburg Sud’s ten-strong DSME-built SANTA CLARA series.
In short: some details of the order remain sketchy and we will have to wait for further information to become available.
By mid-July, Cosco, K-Line, Yang Ming and Hanjin will have finalised the reduction of capacity of their Far East – WCNA ‘PCN’/'CPN’ service, which is set to fall to 5,500 teu per week from 7,820 teu/week, the high that prevailed throughout the fourth quarter of 2012 and January this year.
Coscon is removing its 7,490 teu capacity vessels of the Cosco Long Beach type and replaces them by three 5,446 teu capacity units (Coscon) and three Yang Ming 5,551 teu vessels. Unless a yet to be determined CKYH-internal vessel exchange is carried out, the means that Yang Ming will gain operator status on the service.
This capacity reduction of 2,300 teu per week is worth noting, in a lane that sees overall capacity soar from 197,000 teu per week in March to 214,000 teu per week at the beginning of July.
This massive overall capacity increase is due to the opening of CSCL’s, UASC’s joint ‘AAS2′/’AWS1′ and the revival of Evergreen’s ‘CPS2′. Together, these two services add in excess of 9,000 teu to the trade lane.
A number of other services are also being boosted with Hyundai adding 3,400 teu per week to the New World Alliance’s ‘PCX’, and CMA CGM and MSC also adding 1,900 teu per week to their ‘Pearl River’ which remains the ‘heavy weight’ of the trade lane.
The CKYH alliance itself has also contributed to the overall increase and boosted the Coscon-operated ‘CEN’ with 8,500 teu ships.
China’s Jiangsu New Yangzijiang Shipyard, a prolific builder of container vessels, has delivered the first of a new type of 4,770 teu baby-overpanamax ships. The ship has been named HAMMONIA ISTRIA and she will soon join Emirates Shipping Line under the charter name EMIRATES PEARL.
The Dubai-based carrier will deploy the ship to its ‘CIS’ China – India service, offered in partnership with OOCL and APL (who market the loop as ‘CIX’). ESL provides one of the six ships on the service and the EMIRATES PEARL will replace the 4,250 teu JPO VELA, which is to be returned to her owners.
The HAMMONIA ISTRIA is the first of two units ordered by Hammonia Shipping of Hamburg and she will be followed by the HAMMONIA TOSCANA. So far, a total of ten sister ships have been ordered, all by German non-operating owners. Six of the ships, including the Hammonia twins will be managed by Peter Doehle, whereas four ships will be controlled by Hansa Shipping. Even though the gearless vessels are all believed to be identical, their official intake varies between 4,770 teu and 4,957 teu, depending on their respective owners. Most likely, there is no factual reasons for these differences other than more or less optimistic assumptions regarding realistic container deck loads.
With a length over all of 255.10m and a beam of 37.30m (15 rows), and a MAN B&W 6 S80ME-C9 main engine, the new Jiangsu 4,800 teu type bears some resemblance with the Hyundai-built Maersk Wafmax (Maersk-C-type) series. In addition to similar dimensions and an identical main engine, the ship types also both offer 600 reefer plugs. The main difference is of course that the Maersk ships are fully geared, whereas the Jiangsu type is gearless.
Given their size, efficiency and versatility, baby-over panamaxes like these seem the natural successors for many ageing panamaxes and maxi-panamaxes that need to be replaced in coming years.
The United Arab Shipping Company is said to have chosen South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries to place orders for up to 17 ultra-large neo-overpanamax container vessels for delivery from early 2015. While the deal has yet to be officialised, it could be worth a total of up to USD 2 billion.
UASC’s will order up to six ships of 18,400 teu and up to 11 ships of 14,000 teu. The mega order comes in a week that sees a literal order frenzy for large container vessels – an indicator that ship owners believe newbuilding prices have finally bottomed out.
The 18,400 teu ships, for which UASC is to place five firm orders and one option, are earmarked to run alongside a fleet of similarly-sized ships that CSCL recently ordered at Hyundai Heavy. The two carriers had increased their level of cooperation in the recent past and it was known at the time of CSCL’s order, that the carriers foray into the 18,000 teu super jumbo league was part of an orchestrated move alongside UASC. In a few years, the two carriers will between them deploy a fleet of ten – or eleven if UASC converts its single-ship option – ultra-large next-generation vessels. The ships are to trade alongside each other in a joint weekly Far East to Europe service that will apparently be designed to turn around in ten or eleven weeks.
Unlike Maersk Line, which went for a twin-engine, twin-skeg, twin-propeller design for its triple-E ships, UASC is believed to order a more conventional single-engine ship type, just as CSCL did. Since both CSCL and UASC have chosen Hyundai for their coordinated orders, it is highly likely that the two carrier’s new jumbo ships will be more or less identical in design. The price per vessel has not been disclosed but it is estimated at USD 140 million to USD 145 million per ship.
Further to the 18,400 teu ships, UASC is to sign orders for up to 11 vessels of 14,000 teu. The carrier and Hyundai are said to have reached an agreement that will see UASC place five firm orders and sign options for six more ships. If all 11 ships are actually built, they could staff a mainline standalone Asia-Europe loop of USAC. If the options are not taken, the five ships might well end up trading in a joint service with a partner carrier or even join services outside the Far East to Europe trunk route, such as Middle-East Gulf related operations.
Again, no prices have been disclosed, but 14,000 teu newbuildings would presently cost between USD 110 million and USD 120 million, depending on yard and vessel specifications.
Some time ago, it was reported that UASC had launched an investigation into the feasibility of new propulsion concepts, such as dual fuel main engines or container ships powered by natural gas which would be bunkered and stored aboard in liquid form. While neither of the two vessel types’ specifications have been disclosed yet, it very much looks like these options have been discarded and UASC is believed to have followed down the conventional road alongside its industry peers.
Over the course of June and July, OOCL and CSCL will boost the capacity of their joint ‘AEA1′/’ACE’ China-Taiwan-Australia service. The two partners will successively replace the present fleet of ships in the 4,200 to 4,500 teu range with ships of 5,400 to 5,700 teu.
Most of today’s panamax-beam units will thus be replaced with over-panamax ships. Last week, OOCL phased-in the 5,344 teu OOCL AMERICA. She will be followed by the 5,668 teu sisters XIN QING DAO and XIN YAN TAI and the 5,344 teu OOCL CALIFORNIA.
For the time being, these four over-panamaxes will trade alongside one smaller ship to form a fleet of five units. One voyage on the six-week round trip continues to be skipped. The gap is partially filled by ad-hoc slots on the multi-operator Australia loop of Hamburg Süd, Hyundai, APL and Hapag-Lloyd.
Coscon today announced it will start taking slots on the multi-coloured Far East – ECSA ‘NHX’ service jointly operated by NYK (four ships), Hyundai (three ships), PIL (three ships) and K-Line (two ships).
Coscon is to participate with immediate effect and begins to slot with the departure of the 5,023 teu HYUNDAI PRIVILEGE sailing from Busan on 1 June. The brand new ship is actually on her maiden voyage and her entry is part of a moderate capacity upgrade of the ‘NHX’, which sees baby-overpanamax ships of 4,500 to 5,000 teu phase in. These include units of K-Line’s B-class, NYK’s F-class and Hyundai’s P-class.
For Coscon, the new offer adds to its ‘ESA’, on which the Chinese carrier became a vessel provider earlier this year.